We set off for the National Rally site on the Thursday before, this then allowed us to set up out tents and the welcome tent and get comfy before too many people arrived, all went to plan except that we drove through a huge storm on the way to the site and could barely see the vehicle in front of us, however once we reached site the weather was dry enough for us to pitch the tents, unload the car and cook burgers on the bbq. When we got to site some members of Chard branch had already arrived so I collected their camping fees and gave them the welcome packs. A couple more members came along throughout the evening but not too many.
As it was our first time camping with our new arrival we went to bed at a respectable time, thinking that we might have trouble getting her to settle down to sleep in such a strange environment, however we had no such trouble she slept from 10:30pm until 5am which is the longest she has ever slept. Friday morning soon came around and after breakfast it was time for me to make my way down to the welcome tent in-order to collect camping fees from people as they arrived. People began to arrive slowly in dribs and drabs, the rain following suit and arriving in waves as each new unit arrived, halting people from putting their tents up.
However by the end of Friday evening we had a fair number of people turn up and camp, and quite a few Reliants. I decided to shut the welcome tent and collect payments from any new arrivals the following day. The evening quiz went well with the only hitch being that the questions were hard to hear because of the noise of others in the pub.
We chatted in the bar for a while after the quiz with members of Chard branch, before joining the usual crowd of people in Steve Whites tent.. Alas we could not stay long because Sarah-Lily decided that it was bed time and would not settle down and be quiet, regardless of what we did, as soon as we took her too the tent and changed her for bed she fell fast asleep and I was not too far behind her, again she slept remarkably well.
Saturday morning soon came round and what a miserable day it was, torrential rain, to the point that the road run destination was changed from the zoo to the Think Tank as the Think Tank is a indoor venue and the zoo is not. The road run therefore left site at around 11am after we had informed people that there had been a change in the destination , 5 Reliants came on the road run along with us in the van (35 simply does not have enough seats for 3).
The Think Tank was a great place to go and visit although far too many children messing with the exhibits for me to really be able to enjoy myself, Sarah as usual was extremely well behaved. After having lunch at the think tank we headed back out into the rain and towards camp, after receiving a phone call from Maxine to tell us that they needed to close the entrance to the site as it had become extremely muddy and vehicles were beginning to wheel spin. We arrived back way before the time of 5.30 that was in the programmes, and surprisingly the sun came out .. This allowed me to catch up with the people that had arrived whilst I was on the road run, and for Geoff to set the disco up at a slow pace rather than all in a rush.
Geoff decided to start the disco early since all his equipment was set up, although he calls it “warming up his speakers”. He then had a pause in the disco so that people could play the Irish raffle and participate in the Glow Cars competition. Once the glow cars had been judged Geoff turned his disco up, whilst I watched as people showed off their best party moves! Sarah slept soundly, not waking up once.
Sunday arrived and for once the rain was not there hurrah! The cars were lined up in neat rows in front of the bar ready to be judged in their various categories. Over 30 Reliants turned up of various models. The opening ceremony was done and Hostesses changes over. Games and stalls were busy through-out the day. Considering the weather over the previous few days this was an amazing turn out. The award ceremony was done and the evening’s entertainment was set up by the time the ceremony had finished!
Kirsty Payne, Birmingham Branch